Extras Blog - Comic Notes

February 20, 2015 at 7:25 pm

★ Notes on Year 2, Comic 9 – Parse – Part III ★

✓ I made a list of these a while ago:

- Kent “Second Best Flip Cup Player At Samwell University” Parson

- Kent “You May Not Know Who I Am, But You’ll Want A Selfie With Me” Parson

- “Kent "Swiggity Swooty” Parson

- Kent “Looks At Jack and Says Hah Do He Got Booty? Oh God He Has Too Much Booty Abort Abort” Parson 

- Kent “#Hauswrecker” Parson (x)

- Kent “Has Dreams About Jack Zimmermann, Which Are Bookmarks In A Detailed Catalog Of Ways To Make Jack Question His Self Worth” Parson

✓ I’m. More confused than ever. *sweats*

✓ So Parse *is* a dick? Okay, but was all the stuff Shitty said true, then? Were Jack’s previous reactions a response to the way Parse had treated him before? Or is Jack actually insecure and jealous? Does Parse know about Jack’s anxiety? Does Parse miss Jack? Does Jack miss Parse? Is there still something there? These are all good questions.

✓ Dear God, why do I even read these blog posts??? For the vague hintings of course!

✓ Kenny??????????????????? You know when it’s the last summer of your childhood and you’re just hanging with your bro and you’re smoothing out his cowlick and you fondly call him Kenny while trying not to think about how mercilessly cruel fate is lol you know bros being bros

✓WAIT. WHAT DID BITTY TWEET/DO  AFTER EpiKegster???? 

Step One: Clean My Kitchen

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

Behold! How Eric Bittle deals with/completely avoids his problems.

OH BUT WAIT ETA! A day (ish) after #Epikegster and right before Jack goes home for Winter Break:

Okay, Jack & Shitty are fixing to head out. I’m going on a very dangerous mission. Wish me luck.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 15, 2014

And now to wait… 🍪

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 15, 2014

Text from Jack: i’m surprised your cookies got through customs Bittle (◡ ‿ ◡ ) He found them.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 16, 2014

Eric “You May Never Want To Talk About What Happened, But I Can Wait, And I Want You Know That My Unconditional Love Comes Standard” Bittle

✓ Number of times I drew Parse at #EpiKegster in Parse I, II, and III: Three.

✓ Number of games of Catan I played during Parse I, II, and II: 135

Up next: Parse IV. Haha HA Oh GOD JUST KIDDING, 

Up next: Shinny! (???)

February 8, 2015 at 4:25 pm

★ Notes on Year 2, Comic 8 – Parse – Part II ★

✓  There were the 34 days in the summer of 2009, between winning the Memorial Cup and the NHL Entry Draft in Montreal, where things were perfect. Who wouldn’t want that back? 

But that was a very long time ago.

✓ Who is Kent Parson? Is he a jerk? Is he actually as nice as Shitty and Bitty suggest? Why does Jack get so tense around him? Why is their relationship so strained? Is it just because of Jack’s jealousy? Is it something Jack did? Is it something Parse did? Why does he keep trying to talk to Jack? What does Parse want? AND HOW DOES THIS AFFECT ERIC RICHARD BITTLE?  Kent “…Baby One More Time” Parson. I’ve been sayin’ it from DAY ONE, FOLKS.

✓ Waaaaaait a minute wait what was that Parse sitting in Jack’s lap??? Where else would he sit?

✓ Is the only difference between now!Jack and qmjhl!Jack just his haircut? The secret to drawing a younger Jack is making him smile, the end. Hahaha, now we’re all sad.

✓ WHO WERE THOSE GIRLS RANSOM AND HOLSTER WERE TRYING TO WHEEL? March and April. March is 5’11. I sure hope they turn up in later comics. ._.

✓ What color are Kent Parson’s eyes? They change color like the anime trash he is.

✓ Ugh, when will this Parse thing be over. SOON.

January 22, 2015 at 10:18 pm

★ You will be able to pre-order a Huddle! Zine on Friday, the 23rd around noon EST. You can also check my storenvy FAQ for more info. They won’t get shipped until the first week of February so, uh…let’s all…be very calm.

Also, when you rec Check,Please! to friends, family, and coworkers, do you warn them that it is an ongoing comic that updates every two-ish weeks?

★ Notes on Year 2, Comic 7 – Parse – Part I ★

✓ Somewhere in the streets of Samwell, Massachusetts, lacrosse bros are taking pictures with Kent Parson’s rental 918 Spyder. #sickride

✓ Why is this blog post so long? I don’t know but I’M NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN.

✓ Bitty is holding a key in his vlog?……………………………………………………………….is it…………………………………the key…………..to Jack’s heart? ಠ_ಠ

✓ TWEETS! You can read all of them here by the way ⇒ EPIKEGSTER TWEETS.

[a wild Jack Zimmermann appears]

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

If you were hanging around the internet around 10 PM or 1 AM that day, you might have gotten caught up in a series of tweets from Eric Bittle documenting an #EpiKegster—a natural phenomenon in Samwell men’s hockey. The only difference between it and a regular kegster is magnitude. (More dubiously brewed alcoholic beverages, an increased number of Boston-area college students, more people doing actual kegsters?)

[a wild Jack Zimmermann appears]

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

Me: *talks to senior hockey captain so he won’t be an awkward wallflower* Senior Hockey Captain: *seems grateful*

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

Right so the timeline for the tweets gets a little wonky if you try to line it up with the comic, but meh, I’m not perfect. BUT I did picture it like this: Jack creeping downstairs like a curious house cat and kinda looking around at the 100s of people in his Haus. And right before he backtracks up the stairs (with the thought “Oh man hey you know what I can do in my room? Not this.”), Bitty waves at him. And then they stand and eventually lean and talk about a bunch of stupid stuff. (“Tub juice, eh?” “Oh my goodness, I know!”) 

Jack: I’ve only experienced one #EpiKegster Jack: it took up two issues of the Swallow Jack: no I’m not kidding

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

The most charismatic Jack Zimmermann has been in 24 years, probably.

Jack’s story about how he saved the Haus from the football team was about 2 minutes longer and I think I’m only showing the abridged version? In my mind, Jack had definitely practiced telling this story in the shower, you know, just in case. And HAD BEEN WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT SINCE SOPHOMORE YEAR, because he had tried it out at his Uncle Mario’s Christmas party one year and again at this really laid-back golf charity event with Wayne, and by this point, when he tells this story (all the comedic timing honed) Jack (probably somewhat tipsy on a half-full solo cup of Miller Lite) becomes a man possessed—confidence swelling–monotone varying slightly–leaving Eric Bittle flushed and slightly more amused than 3 minutes before. “If this whole hockey thing doesn’t work out,” thinks Jack. “I could do stand-up comedy. Bittle thinks I’m hilarious.”

But yes. Jack saved the Haus from the football team. Jack has had people making up fantastical stories about him since his wunderkind days. (Like the story where he beat two NHL rookies in an informal shootout during a practice. When he was 12. That actually happened though.) SO NATURALLY HE NEEDED TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT WITH ERIC RICHARD BITTLE. Also, let the record show:

Shitty: JACK ZIMMERMANN HAVING FUN AT A COLLEGE PARTY Shitty: IT’S AN #EPIKEGSTERMAS MIRACLE

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 14, 2014

✓ That tweet directly above–Did Bitty tweet this right after his conversation with Jack? Wasn’t that when Parse showed up? HEY THAT’S NOT RIGHT. Aaaaaah you wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t pointed it out.

✓ …Ransom and Holster have matching shutter shades? *puts face in hands* They do. And they ordered them with Lardo when the three of them got schwastey one night. Well, at least they all matched when they were doing different Lardo/Holster/Ransom permutations for beer pong teams. (“Hey, chick, don’t those shades affect your throws???” “No. Your yammering does. We won.”)

✓ Jack wanted to take a selfie with Bitty….??? Oh. Oh but it wouldn’t have been just one. The first one would have come out too dark or blurry. “Wait—get closer?” one of them suggests. In the second one, Jack’s eyes would be closed—because Jack—and he would get thoroughly chirped for this as they set up for the next photo. In the third one Jack wouldn’t be able hold Bitty’s phone still because Bitty is still chirping him and they’re laughing too much and even though the fourth and fifth pictures would have turned out pretty good? Jack would think, Maybe one more? One more to be sure.

✓ BUT NONE OF THAT HAPPENED BECAUSE OF KENT FREAKING PARSON. I DON’T KNOW WHETHER TO HATE HIM OR TO LOVINGLY SMOOTH DOWN HIS HAIR ANTENNAE. FACT: my favorite part of Parse’s character design is that little cowlick that jauntily defies gravity in every and all situations. He hates it.

✓WHO IS HE? Jack’s ex-teammate and his first best friend. As we will find out, he plays for the Las Vegas Aces where he kind of just….gets points like Bitty bakes pies. Which I find amusing since he’s basically 5'10" and 175ish pounds, which is incredibly small for an NHL player.

✓ Parse’s watch?? Costs more than your laptop. If there is one thing I regret about this update is that I didn’t make that thing shinier.

✓ “Zimms”?????? Parse is the only person who calls Jack that nickname. I wonder if Jack calls Parse anything special?

✓ “Didja miss me?” We’ll see if Jack does.

 

Ask-A-Rama #2

I opened up the ol’ ask box for questions a while back.

jellycaterror: WHAT’S THE PROCESS YOU WENT THROUGH FOR NAMING THE CHARACTERS? DID ANYONE’S WIP NAME CHANGE A MILLION TIMES BEFORE ENTERING THE STORY? ALL RIGHT so here’s my process for naming characters.

1a Hear a cool last name -> Can that be a cool hockey nickname? -> Yes? -> Character 

1b Hear an interesting noun -> Can that be a cool hockey nickname? -> Yes? -> Character 

2 Nickname/last name established, think of friend who tangentially reminds me of character -> First name

Oh-shipp : For the ask-o-rama thing. In order to get over liking jack (since he thinks Jack is straight, if he even tries to get over liking Jack), is bitty going to try and date someone else? Aha! Bitty did end up going to Winter Screw with someone (an English club Rugby player) and they met for coffee and studied together a few times. Bitty’s going to channel his frustrations into rhubarb pies and convince himself that he’s happy to be one of Jack Zimmermann’s (closest?) friends.

opheliaed: Characater/locations/scenes that got cut from the story as it exists today? What was your reasoning for it & emotional response to the cuts? OH MAN ASK ME THIS IN A FEW MONTHS WHEN I’M ITCHING TO ILLUSTRATE ALL OF JACK’S PHOTOS FROM HIS INTERMEDIATE PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS UGHGGGGH Also, if I could illustrate half of Bitty’s tweets, either in 1st-person POV with Bitty documenting OR as extended comics….I would. OTL

This may not be a direct answer to your question, but man, there were probably 1-3 prototypes for every character? Like…Ugh, there was this terrible goalie that I came up with before Johnson and Chowder who had zero personality…ugh, he is painful to think about. And I’ve joked about it before, but I think the first iteration of Jack was literally a hockey robot. Like, he had terminator vision. Ughhhh.

And here’s an ask-a-wellie that I never posted. The idea behind this one was Jack eventually warming up to AAWs instead of thinking they were invasive or distractions? And he and Shitty were taking that junior lecture about war and stuff.

Dragons-egg : Is Kent gonna make us sad? 

thesubstitutepanda: On a scale of 1-10, how much is Kent’s character arc gonna hurt? 

Bluewrist  : On a scale of 1-10, how badly is “Parse, 1-3” going to hurt? 

Depending on how sensitive you are to certain things, like at least a 4 and at most an 11.

freddyspaghetti : where is lardo from? Boston! Her parents are both from Vietnam. Shitty’s from Boston too, but really, he’s like from Brookline or something. They definitely send each other bored texts over break to hang out.

ananame : Is Dex really Republican? Yup, he really actually is. Though after 4 years of Samwell he’s probably going to declare himself an Independent.

musicwillrule : Who do you find the most difficult to draw? Who do you find the easiest to draw? And finally, who is your favorite to draw? BITTY IS THE HARDEST TO DRAW. Just. His face is so simple that it’s incredibly easy to mess up. If you meet me at a convention and ask me to draw Bitty, you’re gonna get something super wonky unless I’m warmed up. Holster is so incredibly easy because his head is a giant square. So from most >>>> least difficult : Bitty > Ransom Chowder > Nursey > Dex > Lardo > Shitty > Jack > Holster. Kind of.

custardcustard :What is something you really wanna talk about via all the characters cause ngl I love em all and I’m constantly interested in facts and stories about em all. PARSE AND JACK’S BACKSTORY. *shakes you by the shoulders* YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!!! Parse and Zimms! Zimms and Parse! The pre-angst shenanigans!!

winchesterising: hi!!! super sorry if this is explained somewhere or it doesn’t make sense.. but how do the twitter/real life/webcomic timelines match up? like the twitter seems to be in real time and way ahead of the events of the comic on tumblr. is that just because the comics are bitty’s vlogs? The twitter is slightly ahead of the comic! It’s hard to keep them at the same point in time because sometimes 2-3 comics will focus on a single night or a single hockey play. (And that’s a month or so worth of updates.)

Misanderingthroughthewoods: Does Bitty miss figure skating? And does Jack actually talk to Bitty like he did in the celly comic? Bitty does miss figure skating and will sometimes pull out a spin or two during practice. Jack is kind of bad when it comes to talking like a normal person, but he has yet to express his feelings on playing with Bitty on his line in the actual comic!

Blamefincham: idk if this is a question but if you could expand on the many ways in which Nursey is a loser that would make me very happy. Derek Nurse is so chill about everything, that he forgets where his hands and feet are sometimes and drops shit on his teammates and strangers and mostly Dex.

Arendwinter: Does Samwell have a history of hockey players going pro? Or is Jack a very rare exception? And was Samwell ever part of the beanpot? A few guys have been drafted to NHL teams, but like, 90% stayed on the farm with occasional NHL appearances. Like, they’re solid guys, but it’s the ECAC, you know? I think that’s why the hockey world was shocked when Jack enrolled at Samwell. “I guess that Zimmermann kid is giving up on following his dad, huh?” Re: The Beanpot—I had to look that up! Thank you for introducing me to new hockey info!! (Esp. hockey in Boston.) Dude, that’s coming up in February according to Wikipedia. Gaaah, if I had known, I would have planned something for the Twiter.

22MOJO: What are some things you love most about the comic (characters, stories, creation process, etc.) and why are they so important to you? Ugh, this is a fantastic question that I probably need a whole separate post to answer. I love a lot of things about this project.

Fmptard: tbh you could probably pay off art school if those zines were ten bucks each and you could make em as fast as we wanted em Please support Check, Please! by sharing the comic! Because if enough people support me, I can do this for a living. Imagine all the updates!

A-and I’m doing a Kickstarter this spring. ._.

January 8, 2015 at 11:29 pm

★ Notes on Year 2, Comic 6 - WGSS120 / HIST376: Women, Food, & American Culture ★

✓HERE WE ARE ANOTHER BLOG POST Oh man, lots of things to talk about. For example–did you know that the class Jack and Bitty are taking in this comic is based on a course at Yale called, “Women, Food, & Culture”? I wanted the Samwell version of this course (which I’ll just call WGSS for short) to be a coveted senior seminar that NO ONE gets into, let alone spunky sophomore bakers. The Goal: To force Jack Zimmermann and Eric Bittle into a cooking project because this comic is secretly a sitcom.

✓ Bitty talked about this class for a long time on his Twitter. How do the tweets and this comic line up? Right, Bitty tweeted about this class off and on for about 14 weeks or so? There’s no way I can compile all of the tweets, but HERE’S….A BUNCH!!!! FOR YOU COMIC-ONLY PURISTS!

= Food Class Update= this morning, I walked into a senior history seminar with only my bribery pie and a dream. I left victorious.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) August 27, 2014

BITTY GETS INTO THE IMPOSSIBLE CLASS

#WGSS120: Women, Food & Amer. Culture. Fabulous professor. Fascinating readings. Hockey captains who doodle defensive plays in their notes.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 10, 2014

Watching Jack interact with non-hockey people is so bizarre. I forget he has the ability to make small talk.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 17, 2014

I promise to give detailed updates on whenever Jack falls asleep during lecture, doodles in his notes, gives awkward presentations

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) August 27, 2014

Bitty starts to see another side of Jack. The side that doesn’t default into skating faster and tracking the puck and the movement of his forwards and his defense and the opposition’s goalie. The side that has to deal with non-hockey people. WHAT.

Phone Girl, please, you’re not even being subtle. Try Tortoise Shell Glasses Girl’s approach instead: blatantly staring at Jack dreamily.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 3, 2014

LIKE TORTOISE SHELL GLASSES GIRL!!!! MY FAVORITE GIRL! Ugh, she’s probably editor-in-chief of the Daily too, don’t spend time with those hockey losers.

Jack on the phone w/ his dad a while ago: french french french I’m with Bittle french french Bittle ha ha french french no…okay, bye. ._.?

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 19, 2014

They spend a lot of time together.

AND BECAUSE BITTY AND JACK SPEND SO MUCH TIME TOGETHER, THE FREQUENCY OF CHIRPING INCREASED 10X. THIS IS HONESTLY THE BIGGEST WAY THE TWITTER ELABORATED ON THE COMIC. With tons of mundane fluff. LOOK:

Me: I’ll stop tweeting when you quit teasing me Jack: I guess you’ll never stop tweeting (This one.)

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 20, 2014

Sitting in the Norris library with Jack. Trying to do an essay response for food class…and why am I tweeting under the table.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 24, 2014

oh god, so Jack just went to use the bathroom and tossed a note on my laptop. Yes I’m live-tweeting this; my life is not exciting.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 24, 2014

it’s in french OF COURSE

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 24, 2014

translation: “write your essay response” oh Lord.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 24, 2014

Okay, he’s back. I left a note on his backpack.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 24, 2014

I’ve never seen Jack have to stifle a laugh before. #NoteGameStrong

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) September 24, 2014

What did Bittle write? That’s a very good question.

After morning practice and team breakfast, on the Wednesdays before WGSS (and if Ransom wasn’t around) sometimes Bitty would force Jack to get coffee with him.

Me: Jack! You wanna get a Pumpkin Spice Latte with me before class? :) :) :) Jack: You shouldn’t be drinking those. Me: :( :( :(

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) October 15, 2014

Dragging Jack to Annie’s before class. Without caffeine I am not a southern gentleman.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) October 15, 2014

(Annie’s. The cafe from The Closet Story. I like to keep my universes streamlined.)

OMFG few things are funnier than watching Jack guess who’s playing on the radio in here. I can’t breathe.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) October 15, 2014

TOO HARD TO TWEET. He keeps guessing TAYLOR SWIFT. HELP

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) October 15, 2014

It was a rather warm autumn, wasn’t it?

Jack: It’s way too easy to make you laugh. Make sure you tweet that.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) October 15, 2014

Our final for Food Class will involve creating a dish from an old recipe and thus: Jack:..I might need your help. >:)

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) October 20, 2014

An example of how Bitty is an unreliable narrator. He makes up Jack’s dialogue here to quickly convey what Jack meant by saying “Um. Bittle.” in real life.

(Note: Twitter only shows a limited number of tweets on a feed–about 1000? I started tweeting back in JULY, and the feed starts at Sept 7th. (Don’t worry, those tweets still exist online and I also downloaded them.))

✓ HEY. Do I *actually* need to read the Twitter??? I feel like I’m missing out on things! :( Hey, dude, I’m doing multi-platform storytelling! You can read the entire comic without looking at the Twitter. You can also read the whole comic without looking at an Ask-a-Wellie or a blog post too. But–Okay. maybe I should officially revise my stance: if you want that full Check,Please! experience, you totally should read the Twitter! You’ll get a clearer picture of the whole narrative I’m trying to tell and hey, you might just have some fun. But, yo, I’m not the boss. I’m merely a comic artist offering a multi-tiered user experience. I feel like Johnson would say at this point–“Brahs. Choose your adventure.” ETA: You don’t even need to sign up for Twitter. You can just bookmark the page and check it every like, week! Also, SUPER important events will be cross-posted to this tumblr. Seriously, NBD, right? Right.

We’re all gonna be fine; it’s a just comic on the internet.

✓ BUT WHAT ABOUT WHEN YOU LIVE TWEET THINGS. ;~; HOW WILL I KNOW? I clearly need to do a whole write up on #Epikegster. Oh man. Fun fact: most of my livetweeting is impromptu and improvised! I mean, I have a general idea of when and what I want to happen, but it kind of just…happens then and there. But I should probably let everyone know a day or seven in advance when I’m about to oh, I dunno, livetweet graduation at the end of the year.( Uh don’t hold me to that.)

✓ So let’s talk about this. Why does Bitty like Jack all of a sudden RIGHT NOW. Bitty is very good at suppressing things. I’m sure the first time he met Jack–an interesting moment–he turned off that part of his brain that would allow him anything other than a casual appreciation of Jack’s … uh… character design. Plus, Jack is his teammate and his captain–and it is Bitty’s first time on an all male team. And Jack spent most of Bitty’s frog year trying to glare Bitty into oblivion. Bitty never thought that they would be friends. But it was a long summer and Jack is actually a very funny guy when he terminates PerfectCanadianHockeyRobot.exe.

✓ But was it the lighting? The flour? The Beyoncé playing on his laptop? Okay, well, first of all–it is entirely Eric Bittle’s fault that he is in this situation. What does Bitty like? Well-built young men and baking ingredients. What did Bitty do? Took a well-built young man and covered him in baking ingredients honestly I don’t know what he expected.

✓ Still. Still!! Jack is going to graduate–and play hockey somewhere in North America! And HE’S STRAIGHT. He dated Camilla Collins (I READ THE EXTRAS!! I’M INFORMED!!!) What’s the point of giving Bitty an impossible crush??? It’s cruel! He doesn’t stand a chance! A great man once said something about missing 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

✓ Is Jack’s wardrobe entirely made up of flannel and tight dark colored t-shirts or…? They aren’t that tigh–no. No, Jack wears a lot of other stuff. But Jack is a simple guy and has officially taken the mantel of “The Protagonist’s Love Interest”. He is therefore obliged to fulfill certain “Hunk Duties” in each comic. I don’t write the rules.

✓ I am interested in hearing more about these Hunk Duties. These duties restrict apparel choice and size.

✓ WHAT ARE THEY BAKING WHAT ARE THEIR PROJECTS??? 

-Bitty compared ingredients in pie recipes he found women’s magazines–one from 1944 and another from 1951–examining how wartime and limited resources affected how dishes which might have been a luxury were prepared. He tracked down authentic ingredients and cried about how little butter he could use. 

- Jack made hard tack and johnny cakes–simple recipes that were part of the logistics of feeding a lot of men. In class he probably brought them in and muttered in a perfect French-Canadian hockey player monotone: “Yeah, these were a lot of fun to make. I’ve always been interested in strategy and logistics when it comes to different wars. Uh, yeah, so for the Johnny cakes–Union soldiers probably didn’t eat them with maple syrup, but my mom sent me some, so you can pour that on. Also Bittle saved my life with these because I can’t cook at all.” 

- They both got A’s.

✓ What happens when a Canadian and a southern gentleman run into each other in a kitchen? They both apologize yet neither move.

✓ Poll on sexual tension in panel 4. How did you feel about it? (a) Y-7 (b) NC-17. 

UP NEXT: 

#EpiKegster2014 

#Parse…#PartOne

December 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Hey! This is how a Check,Please! comic comes into being. Making a comic is a fairly long but fun process, with quite a few ups and downs. In fact, I actually made a graph that shows my emotional state during the lifespan of a comic:

THIS HAPPENS WITHOUT FAIL. In my head there is this great, animated, sound-filled cinematic production and then I must translate it into image, like a barbarian, with these CLAW HANDS and ELECTRONIC PLASTIC SLABS!! How cruel!

No, it’s actually fine. I’m just a baby. But if you ever see me on social media, dragging my feet and hinting that you should not expect anything from the next update, I’m probably laying down flats.

Programs I Use:

I. THE SCRIPT/THUMBNAILS

These are how the thumbnails for Comic 2.7 - Parse look. So much potential!! Spoilers!

The scribblings of a madwoman! Props to you if you can figure out what’s going on, I sure can’t.

I’m weird, in that I write the script and do thumbnails for the comic at the same time? More often than not, I’ll write out dialogue and then break it into chunks for panels:

So many mosaics! …..!!! Hey you know what you shouldn’t do? Don’t write the script after you finish drawing the entire comic. I did that for most of the comics in Bitty’s spring semester (idk) and man…it stresses me out and is stupid…don’t…do it.

AFTER I finish the thumbnails and the rough script, then I go back and finalize the script so I can later copy/paste it into InDesign:

II. ROUGHS

For roughs I usually draw right over my thumbnails. In the first pass I try to get the anatomy and clothing of the characters, and I sketch out the background. Then in the second pass I use a different color to draw complicated elements like hands and faces and sometimes add detail to clothing.

III. INK

AH, inking. Where it all comes together. The only thing I’ll point out about this step is that I always try to close my lines because it makes selecting areas to color so much more simple in the next step. That and I use Kyle Websters’s brushes—particularly the (Pentel) Pocket Brush 2 and the 2Smooth 2Be 4Gotten brushes.

This would be a good time to mention that I treat the foreground and background separately, most of the time.

IV. COLOR + LETTERING

I’m clumping these two together so this post won’t be insanely long. And honestly, each of these steps from thumbnailing to speech bubble placement warrants its own post, so maybe I’ll whip a few of those up eventually.

Here’s my workspace in Photoshop at this point:

Swatches guarantee that colors are consistent from comic to comic! So like Bitty isn’t honey-blonde in one and platinum-blonde in the next. I also keep the navigator window open so I won’t have to zoom out to 100% every two minutes.

Here’s my workspace in InDesign.

But coloring and lettering are the very last steps! Check out this gif:

And then I sit around and write a blog post that demonstrates exactly how obsessive I am! Because it’s not enough for me to simply make a comic; I have to throw in world-building at every step.

And for kicks, here’s Bitty’s frog dorm room and his sophomore year room in the Haus. One background I don’t have to redraw every comic (with the exception of S.B. cameos.)

But there you go! ‘Swawesome!

December 25, 2014 at 8:18 pm

★ Notes on Year 2, Comic 5 - Providence Falconers★

✓ OH! SO THIS MEANS JACK IS GOING TO PLAY FOR THE BRUINS, RIGHT? Like the post-it note in panel 5 of comic 2.1 said! WHAT. GO BACK AND READ THE COMIC.

✓ Ooooh this is it. This is Jack’s new team. You invented NHL expansion teams so you wouldn’t have to get into the awkward position of having Jack play for a real hockey team with real people. I mean you said it, not me. If I mention random NHL teams and you’re like “whaat???? how have I never heard of that team!!”, it is because I made a few up! Samwell University does not exist and neither do any of the following:

- Providence Falconers

- Seattle Schooners (I might….already have an entire separate story idea for these losers. *cries*)

- Las Vegas Aces (Kent Parson’s team.)

- HOUSTON AEROS (I BROUGHT THEM BACK. MY HOMETOWN NEEDS HOCKEY.)

✓ *ahem* Ms. Ukazu, I hope you realize the numerous fallacies in creating an NHL expansion team in the city of Providence–let me tell you the history of New England professional and semi-professional hockey and why the NHL has resisted the development of a franchise in Rhode Island dating back to 1978– NOPE SORRY NONE OF THIS IS REALITY BITTY’S TWEETS ARE ME

✓ Another character! A LADY! A GEORGE??? YES WHILE EVERYONE WAS GETTING CAUGHT UP IN THE HOOPLAH GENERATOR THAT IS KENT “A NEW CHALLENGER APPEARS” PARSON I WAS BUSY DRAWING GEORGIA MARTIN, FORMER OLYMPIAN, CURRENT ASST. GM FOR THE FALCONERS AND PROBABLY JACK’S FUTURE BOSS. 

While every other team in the NHL is wondering if Jack will be a liability (i.e., did rehab and America really “fix” him?) and whether Jack’s talent is worth all the extra media attention, George’s is like fuck that, Jack Zimmermann, you are perfect. Fun fact: she used to be a scout. She prides herself in being able to pick ‘em.

Also, I dunno, you can probably guess most of my storylines, but Jack is eventually going to need an executive confidant at some point and who else could be better than a woman in the NHL–a person in a position where they’re a minority blazing a trail?

✓ Georgia Martin? George-A Martin? George RR Martin? Is she going to kill Jack? No, she’s going to be Jack’s boss one day why would she kill Jack? That would upset Bitty.

✓ What, why would Shitty go to law school? This is the first I’ve heard of this! Yeah, it’s been a thing in the extra comics for a while now. Also, Bitty’s Twitter:

Shitty and Jack just walked past the kitchen: “Bro, if you played in Boston and I got into Harvard, we could be ROOMIES AGAIN.”

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) October 30, 2014

✓ TRIVIA QUESTION: What Cambridge bridge did I blatantly ripoff to create the main bridge of Samwell (the Samwell Bridge) that is in the very center of campus the east and west sides?

ANSWER: The John Weeks Bridge at Harvard. On a scale from 1 to 10 how 11 is my boner for New England colleges.

Hey and look at this:

✓ THE COUCH OH HEY! Jack is on the phone in the den/living room/sitting room of the Haus, and you get a better view of THE COUCH. Bitty hates that couch. 

I swear I’m going to get rid of that couch before I graduate…it’s seen the worst of humanity.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) October 31, 2014

Also, is Chowder taking a nap on that (filthy, horrid) couch going to be a pre-game thing, now?

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) November 14, 2014

I’m going to throw out that couch before I graduate.

— Eric Bittle (@omgcheckplease) December 12, 2014

✓ NEXT UP. Jack gets help from Bitty for their history seminar final and Bitty comes to a startling realization.

December 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Hey, guys! Reblogging , retweeting, and sharing the comic is the best way to help Check, Please! grow. Thanks so much to all the people who are doing this already. Seriously–awesome write ups, primers and screaming in your friend’s face* † about this person named Eric Bittle keep the comic going. Thank you!

*please don’t scream in your friends’ faces

† meh do what you want i’m not the boss of you

 

★ Notes on Year 2, Comic 4 - Hazeapalooza★

✓ Hazeapalooza: the Samwell Men’s Hockey Initiation Evening. It begins at midnight, with kidnapping the freshmen while they’re in various states of consciousness and undress. 

- With a black sack over the freshman’s head, Ransom and Holster dragged a kicking and screaming Will Poindexter from a Samwell library while winking at the security guard because (a) she was being so cool about this, and (b) Ransom thought she was kinda cute and do you have a shift at the ice rink you look so familiar and hey what do you know i’m on the hockey team–JUSTIN LET’S GO. 

- Derek Nurse woke up to a loud banging and then upon opening the door to his freshmen suite, saw his former Andover teammate, Shitty, in aviators, eye-black and not much else. Distracted and not quite expecting for anyone to see him with his hair like this, he did not notice Larissa Duan behind Shitty, with a black sack in her hands and ready to pounce. 

- Chris Chow heard Jack Zimmermann and Eric Bittles’s voices before actually seeing the upperclassmen, and stood outside his own single wondering (a) why Jack and Bitty were in his room, (b)how they had managed to get in so quickly while he was brushing his teeth, and © what they were arguing about because it sounded important. (“Leave the pie! This doesn’t make sense!” “First, excuse you. Second, you’re excused, because you’re clearly too blind to see that this is a situation that necessitates baked goods. OH, don’t you give me that look, Jack Zimmermann.” “I–okay. Whatever. Just shutup. We can’t let him hear us.” “Hi, Bitty! Is everything all right???” “Aw, Chowder, your jammies are so cute!” “I should’ve gone with Lardo.”) Bitty then asked Chowder to put the black sack they had brought with them over Chowder’s head, and said he couldn’t tell him why, and in the five minutes of confusion that ensued, Jack eventually sighed, dragged the sack from Bitty’s hands, pulled it over the shrieking goaltender’s head, and shoved everyone out the door. 

- With all the freshmen rounded up, Jack elbowed Shitty and laughed about how he was so glad he never had to do any of this. Shitty stared for a very long time at his friend Jack Zimmermann before whispering, “you fucker. you beautiful fucker.”

✓ They seem to be mostly incompetent at hazing. In his senior thesis for the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies major, Shitty will in fact note that “when the strictly homosocial and masculine environment of the initiation ritual is even slightly subverted, homemade pies can appear.”

✓ Why is Jack covered in feathers? I legitimately do not know.

✓ In panel 4, what is Dex looking at? I’m pretty sure Dex is wondering who the hell all these random NPCs are, and what they’re doing at his initiation. Considering that there are only 9 named characters on the hockey team (11 if you include Ollie O'Meara and Pacer Wicks–>SOPHOMORES WHOSE FRIENDSHIP CONSISTS SOLELY OF FISTBUMPING. Trivia: how many times have they appeared in the comic? Get this question right and you’ll win–free procrastination!!!!), and that their team has about ~23-ish people, I’m sure Dex is wondering why he never talks to any one but Bitty’s crew.

✓ Using a carefully calibrated graph, show me how drunk everyone was:

Max = ***** 

Shitty: *** 

Ransom: *** 

Holster: *** 

Jack: * 

Lardo: *** 

Bitty: ** 

Dex: ***** 

Nursey: ** 

Chowder: ***********8

✓Shitty’s hair is so long now. Countdown To Will Shitty Cut His Hair For Graduation So His Grandparents Will Attend Even Though They Wanted Him to Go to Harvard and are Wondering Why He Didn’t Major In Economics Like Every Other Knight Male Since 1959? OH! There WILL be talk of this errant Knight progeny all over the cape!

And because someone requested it, without words:

★ Other Stuff★

✓ TAGS. If you track tags, here are the tags I’ll be using for ALL FUTURE UPDATES. “#omgcp extras” for ask-a-wellie responses and various illustrations and “omgcp update” for main comic updates. There’s no tumblr police obviously, so if other people use those tags, you can just stare at them and politely think “shhhhh stop”.

✓ I’ll make a whole post devoted to this BUT HAVE YOU BEEN KEEPING UP WITH ‘SWAWESOME SANTA? That is, the Check, Please! fanworks secret santa exchange run by the indefatigable mamaliza and northerndownpour. IF YOU AREN’T, YOU ARE MISSING OUT. Heaps upon heaps of words have been written about Check, Please! characters and a number of drawings have been drawn by people other than me! Check it out!

✓ If you ordered a Huddle! zine, I’ll be shipping them out by Monday! Will I make more? Yes, but be very very patient! (I…kinda have to…draw this comic as well…)

December 27, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Comic 13: The Closet Story (Part 1)

NOTES ON COMIC 13

- If you have questions, comments, squees or concerns, this is where we can connect through the Information Super Highway. (Ask!!!) Also there are Disqus comment apps under every post. I’d love to start a thread. ._.???

- The US News & World Report doesn’t actually have a list of LGBTQ-friendly campuses, but the Princeton Review does. So there you go!

- ETA: Oh yeah, The Closet Story is a direct reference to a webcomic I had in college (I believe it started the summer of 2011) that…uh. Stopped suddenly. You can read the couple-or-so pages I made at this sad, sad, tumblr.

- ETA2: Blegh, I fixed Panel 3–Ransom’s supposed to be saying the first line there. 

- ETA3: BLEGH fixed typo in Panel 1. Message me if you ever see typos!!!

CAMPUS

Me and backgrounds have a love hate relationship. I hate that I love to draw them because they take a stupid long time–maybe 60% of all comic making time. And while I know nothing about architecture, drawing Samwell’s Lake Quad was 1-part punch me-in-the-face, 2-parts a complete blasty-blast. Here’s some of those panels without speech bubbles:

WARDROBE FOR SIRS 

The Boys have style! Or something approaching it!

- Bitty’s Bitty, so he wears whatever, as long as it’s coordinated, fits, and is obvi totes mcgotes ‘swawesome 'dorbs. TOTES MCGOTES.

- Shitty tends to look like he’s about to play hacky sack. Or like he’s late to band rehearsal in his friend’s dad’s garage. That is, when Shitty is actually wearing clothes. 

- Ransom dresses like the horrible preppy frat bro he is. The guy owns salmon shorts. Holster has thrown them out the attic window many times. Almost as many times as Ransom has tried to get Holster to wear Sperrys. 

- Holster’s attire is based on that of one my suitemates from senior year of college. This guy was from Portland, Oregon, played baseball and basketball in high school, and owned maybe three pairs of shoes. (Becuase, practical!) Actually, a lot of Holster is based on my old roomie. Huh. Holster’s general approach to fashion is “What?” or “Huh?” or “Ransom, I will throw those fucking pants out the fucking window, I swear to God.”

- Jack consistently dresses like he’s about to rob a Burger King.

TIMELINE

And for those diehard people who care about timelines and stuff, Comic 13 (and the next one actually) take place a week before finals. GAH, so behinddd.